Statement from Hamilton
Mayor Jeff Martin and Former Mayors
Kelly Yaede, John Bencivengo
& Glen Gilmore
on the Passing of Mayor John K. Rafferty
Township, Mercer County, and the State of New Jersey lost one of the greats,
John K. Rafferty. Jack Rafferty, as
everyone knew him, was a well-respected man who dedicated 24 years of his life
as Hamilton Township’s first full-time Mayor.
Prior to his time as Mayor, Jack served six years on what was then the
Hamilton Township Committee (now Council).
Jack’s love of public service did not end there, as he also served one
term in the New Jersey General Assembly.
Jack’s tenure as Mayor saw Hamilton
Township become one of New Jersey’s largest municipalities. Under his stewardship Hamilton Township
welcomed Hamilton Hospital (now RWJ Hamilton), the Hamilton Train Station, and
the development of Veterans Park. Jack
will forever leave his mark on Hamilton Township as Hamilton’s main post office
on Route 130 and the YMCA facility on Whitehorse-Mercerville Road each bear his
Jack continued to give back to
Hamilton Township after retiring from his position as Mayor – serving as the
Executive Director of the Hamilton Partnership and remaining active in the New
Jersey Republican Party where he served on the New Jersey Republican State
Committee. A mentor to many and a friend
to all, Jack’s legacy will live on through his children and grandchildren as
well as all those who had the pleasure of knowing him.
"As Mayor of Hamilton Township
and on behalf of our entire community, I wish to express my deepest sympathies
and condolences to his wife Doris and the entire Rafferty Family during this
very difficult time,” said Mayor Jeff Martin. “I trust his family, friends, and
loved ones will find solace in knowing Jack’s many years of dedicated service
to our community will live on in Hamilton Township, Mercer County and New
Jersey for eternity."
Former Mayor Kelly Yaede commented, “Hamilton
Township lost a truly good man, a dedicated public servant who loved his family
and his community. He led a growing town
into a thriving community during his tenure. He was beloved by residents
regardless of party affiliation; a true leader who put the needs of residents
first. The collective sadness realized today in Hamilton with the passing of
Mayor Jack is palpable.”
In remembering Jack Rafferty, former
Mayor John F. Bencivengo stated, “Mayor Jack Rafferty, his name and his life
will never be forgotten. We lost our shining star, a friend to all, a great
public servant, a family man, and our mayor for more than two generations. Once
a mayor, always a mayor. To me, he was my mentor, friend, and a blessing in my
life. Hamilton will forever be in his debt. He turned a place into a township,
a township into a strong community of families, parks, schools, and thriving
businesses – “Safe, Clean and Beautiful.” We shall miss him; I will miss him.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Former Mayor Glen Gilmore expressed
his condolences, stating, “Mayor Rafferty’s legacy of leadership will forever
loom large over Hamilton. He always
cared about people more than politics – which is what we could use more of
now. He was always a friend to me and I
will miss his smile.”
"Mayor Rafferty left an indelible
mark on Hamilton Township. We can all
learn from his example and strive to be more like Jack,” said Mayor Martin.